Youth Voice Census Report 2022

A stark reality: young people are in an escalating state of mental crisis.

Young people’s self-belief is at an all-time low.

The Youth Voice Census is an annual temperature check on how young people in the UK feel about life, study, work and general prospects. Over 4,000 young people aged 11-30 took part in 2022. It is the largest survey of young people in the UK. This year’s Youth Voice Census findings indicate that young people are struggling more than ever before in the face of seemingly insurmountable barriers to progress and wellbeing.

The past three years have been traumatic for young people. Covid 19 and its continuing aftermath has acted both as a catalyst and as a suppressant for some of the biggest issues facing young people: accelerating social, emotional and mental health challenges and contributing to the growing fears and feelings of isolation from age 11 all the way to age 30. At the same time we have seen a stall in careers education and work experience, skill development, work prospects and promotions. With a lack of necessary support networks and a safe routine, young people are worried and immobilised with fear.

The 2022 Youth Voice Census was spearheaded by Youth Employment UK with support from Amazing Apprenticeships, Edge Foundation, Pearson, and Skills Training UK.

A message from Youth Employment UK’s CEO, Laura-Jane Rawlings

“There can be no doubt that we are now in the midst of an escalating mental health emergency. Young people are feeling debilitated by the mental health challenges they are experiencing, and cannot get the help they need. They are focused more on endurance, and carrying a seemingly eternal burden, than on progress.

The impact of covid, the cost of living crisis, and the uncertainty of political tensions (here and abroad) come on top of the pressure cooker that young people live in, with anxiety relating to education success, social pressures, and making the right decisions about their futures.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. This must also mean a village can fail a child. We are all the village, and it’s time to choose our roles.”